Express the void within

This project was inspired by The Void, written by Anna Llenas. The Void is a storybook about a young girl named Julia, who one day discovers a void in herself. She goes through life in collaged and creative reuse imagery trying to find something, ANYTHING, to fill it. Watch the animated adaptation of the Void by clicking this link.
Every human being experiences emotions and this story illustrates the emptiness--the feeling of the presence of a void--that we sometimes feel as we grow. What is a "void"? What does that feel like? Sometimes it might feel like something is missing from our lives, and sometimes it makes us feel sad or confused. Often, we feel a void but we don't know what causes it. We don't know what it is that we're missing; we just feel it.
It's okay not to know. This gives us the opportunity to explore new things that may fill that void. In the story, Julia searches for "stoppers" to fill the void. Some are healthy; others are mere distractions. Let's create characters of ourselves with voids in our bodies and think about things in our lives that we use as stoppers.

STEP 1 - Gather Your Materials


  • Scissors
  • Tape (Any kind works. We used packing tape and artist tape)
  • Markers
  • Screwdriver
  • Canary Cutter
  • Hot Glue (optional)

Making Materials

For this project, I just took a handful of creative reuse materials I could find at home! Make sure to check with an adult if it's okay to use before hot gluing it onto art projects.

  • Colored paper or junk mail
  • Cardboard or paper board
  • Stringy materials for legs, arms, and hair (I used pipe cleaners and this tassel I found)
  • Magazines and other collage material (optional)

STEP 2 - Create your body

Draw your head and your body onto your base material. I used Cardboard as my base. I drew a circle for my head, then a simple narrow arch shape for my body. Sketch out a smaller circle in the middle of the body to cut out later.

Using the canary cutter and scissors, cut your cardboard pieces. Use the screwdriver to poke a hole and cut the inside circle out with a canary cutter.

Use the sistering technique to put the head and body together. Check out the graphics in this activity guide to learn about sistering and other cardboard connection techniques.

STEP 3 - Decorate your character

Use creative reuse materials to personalize your character.

*PRO-TIP: Instead of trying to cut the circle out of the paper I layered on top of the hole, I poked a hole in the middle and cut them into lines like cutting pizza. To open up the circle, I glued folded them in the back and glued them onto the cardboard. This makes for a smoother circle without the stress of making it perfect.

I topped my character off with a ribbon that came from gift packaging!

STEP 4 - What fills the void in you? What are your "stoppers"?

Let's walk around with our characters.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What fills my void?
  • What brings my life fulfillment?
  • What do I spend my time on when I'm not feeling my best?

Play around with things around you and let them fill the void in your character.

Sometimes it's food!

Bringing flowers home sometimes makes me feel better.

Taking care of my pets gives me a sense of fulfillment.


For any tips on how to use specific tools safely, visit our Youtube library for Tiny Techniques. 

Check out this video on how to poke a hole in materials using a screwdriver.


Visit the Techniques tab in reDiscover Center's Pedagogy Resources  for more activity guides, access our Tiny Techniques videos, and get tips for working safely and efficiently with tools.

Once you have finished your character, share them with friends and family and show them how you take care of yourself, by filling the void in your life in healthy ways! If you want to share a picture on social media, make sure to tag @reDiscoverCtr. We love to see what you make!

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